September 24, 2008

G1 vs. iPhone


In defiance of my typical latent excitement at consumer product announcements, I am utterly excited by the official roll-out of T-Mobile’s G1 phone. (The G1 is, of course, the vehicle for Google’s Android software platform.) Why?

First, I’m a PC guy, meaning I instinctively hesitate before handing any money over to Apple. I bucked this long time trend during mid-2005 by purchasing a 4gb 2nd generation iPod Mini, and then replacing it with a 80gb iPod Classic in late 2007 once the battery went kaput (ugh!). Generally if Apple wins me over, it must be by convincing me their product is a superior offering, particularly if I’m going to eat PC crow on a daily basis.

Second, AT&T. While I’ve played with iPhones owned by my friends and colleagues, my overall enthusiasm is muted by my absolute distaste for AT&T / Cingular. My experiences with their customer service is almost as dreadful as my on-going battle with the Verizon FiOS support and billing. Not helping their case is the terribly limited iPhone voice plan, nor the exorbitant data use fees. If I can’t convince my wife I needthe $199 iPhone, how will doubling our monthly wireless bill do me any favors?

Third, I’m an open source proponent. Apple’s closed shop business mentality is tired and frustrating for anyone hoping to deviate from how Apple envisions its customers using their products. Google couldn’t get any more distant from Apple in it’s open source vision, and it is most recently demonstrated through Android’s open access software development. Score one for the wisdom of crowds (which is a fantastic book by James Surowiecki)!

Some issues that have been raised about the "gPhone" are:

  • No syncing or access to an exchange server. These are software issues which can and will be resolved by allowing independent developers to write corrective code. Additionally, the G1 has mini-USB so syncing really is just a matter of time.
  • T-Mobile’s 3G network uses 1700 MHz vs. AT&T’s 1900 MHz.
  • 1gb of on-board storage. The G1 accepts standard microSD, so storage is really just a matter of buying it.

Related Reading

G1 vs. iPhone: The tale of the tape

HTC G1 specifications

Apple iPhone specifications

Android: An Open Handset Alliance Project

No comments: